Marked by an abnormal skin cell turnover rate, this abnormal skin cell production can manifest itself in either of two ways, leading to either excessive dryness or excessive skin oil production. Seborrhea can show up on its own or may be caused by a number of diseases. This condition is fairly uncommon in cats and dogs.
Diagnosing seborrhea isn't especially difficult, but determining why the cat has the condition can be. Your vet will run a series of tests, including a thyroid function test, bacterial cell culture, or a skin biopsy to determine whether seborrhea is your pet's only condition or it is a result of another primary illness. If it is caused by another underlying disease, that condition will be addressed first, then your vet will treat the seborrhea.
Treatment of seborrhea usually entails bathing your cat several times a week with medicated shampoos containing sulfur and/or selenium disulfide. If the cat's seborrhea is of the dry variety, your vet may recommend following the bath with a moisturizing skin rinse. Fatty acid supplements, vitamins C and E, zinc, and sulfur may be added to your cat's diet, as well as dietary supplements containing high levels of lipase enzyme.